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Tycoon Kamya Petitions Court To Throw Justice Wamala Out Of Simbamanyo House Case Over Bias

A sinister plot that was hatched between city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, Equity Bank and Justice Boniface Wamala, of the High Court Commercial Division, to grab Simbamanyo House and other properties from renowned architect Peter Kamya has finally been exposed.

It has been widely reported in media how Sudhir bought Simbamanyo House from Equity Bank, which had attached it after Kamya allegedly failed to service a loan of Shs38.6Bn, which had been extended to him to develop Afrique Suites Hotel in Mutungo.

The sale of Simbamanyo House to Sudhir by Equity Bank resulted from a ruling by Justice Wamala, in which he ordered Kamya and Simbamanyo Estates to either pay 30% of the loan balance in 30 days or forfeit the property they had mortgaged (Simbamanyo House) frustrating every attempt by Simbamanyo to appeal his ruling

However, Kamya insists that there was connivance between Sudhir, Equity Bank and Justice Wamala, whom he says expressly exhibited bias during the hearing and later in his ruling of the case.

As a result of the bias Justice Wamala has exhibited during the course of his handling of the matter involving Simbamanyo Estates and Equity Bank, the aggrieved party (Simbamanyo Estates) have since petitioned him to recuse himself from the case and appealed to the Judicial Service Commission to appoint another judge to handle it.

This is because Justice Wamala’s biased handling of the Simbamanyo House Vs Equity Bank case resulted into an injustice that led to the unwarranted sale of the estate’s flagship properties, Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites Hotel in Mutungo.

As the Managing Director of Simbamanyo Estates therefore, through his lawyers, Kamya has since written a request of recusal to Justice Wamala, bidding him to refrain from handling the matter any further than he already has.

Kamya’s request, which he copied to the Chief Registrar, Principal Judge, Muwema & Co. Advocates, Kakuru & Co. Advocates, Katende Sempebwa Advocates and A F Mpanga Advocates, reads in part thus;

To: His Lordship Justice Boniface Wamala

Of The High Court Commercial Division

Your Lordship,

Re: REQUEST FOR RECUSAL:

1. Civil Suit no 198 of 2020 Simbamanyo Estates vs Equity Bank Uganda – Main suit
2. Misc Applic. no 394 of 2020 Simbamanyo Estates vs Equity Bank Uganda –
Application for temporary injunction
3. Misc Applic no 445 0f 2020 Simbamanyo Estates vs Equity Bank Uganda-The WSD application
4. Misc Applic no 678 of 2020 Simbamanyo Estates vs Equity Bank Uganda – Appeal against the Registrar’s interim order
5. Misc Application no 679 of 2020 Simbamanyo Estates vs Equity Bank Uganda Seeking leave to appeal your ruling of September 7 2020
6. Any others that may not have been captured in the above.

As we were directed when the above matter came before you on October 12, 2020 to address the recusal request directly to you, Your Lordship and not the Chief Registrar, as we here do, we wish to report that we requested for the record of proceedings in respect of the above cases and regret to inform you that as we write we have not received them.

However not be accused of derailing/delaying the court process we have decided to proceed with our request to you to recuse yourself with or without the said proceedings. Since we were present throughout those proceedings and therefore cannot be accused of hearsay.

It is with deep regret that we have to address you on the above matters regarding your conduct when they came up before you.

Regrettably you have not conducted yourself in an impartial manner in respect of our cases. You have made inappropriate comments and exhibited unacceptable conduct in the course of hearing them. You have also exhibited actual and imputed and/or apparent bias in your rulings.

1. Application for a Preliminary Objection (P.O.) Misc Applic no 445 0f 2020
Despite your ruling that our P.O, should be disposed of first, and even going ahead to request both parties to make their submissions and fixed September 17, 2020 as the date for delivering your ruling and while our lawyers proceeded to obey your orders the other side did not and to date have never made their submissions to enable you give the relevant ruling.

This transgression has just been swept under the carpet under your watch.
Meanwhile you have continued to hear subsequent applications which could have been put in abeyance pending disposal of the P.O. Misc Applic no 445 0f 2020.

Your omission to give proper guidance on this matter can be put down to obvious bias given your subsequent comments and conduct.

2. Biased Comments on an issue before you.
During our appearance before you on September 7,2020 while hearing Misc. Applic no 678 of 2020 – Appeal of the interim order, you made biased comments on the issue of illegality which is the center piece of our P.O (Misc. Applic no 445 0f 2020, that it was not an issue because illegality is committed by two parties and gave the example of illegal drugs that if someone sent you illegal drugs from Switzerland and you receive them then you too are part of the illegality.

3. Deliberate and/ or confused Ruling
During the same hearing of our appeal before you Misc. Applic. no 678 of 2020, you gave a ruling that left us confused in that you gave orders that we pay 30% in thirty days and that you would make your ruling on our appeal in 45 days.

This mismatch meant that the respondents would have sold our properties long before that thus making your ruling on our appeal nugatory.

You also stated in support of your ruling that 30% must be paid and that you would NOT extend that deadline. That was even before our lawyers had been given a chance to argue the merits of our Application for A temporary injunction which is before you under Misc. Applic. no 394 of 2020.

4. Giving room to the lawyers for the other side to raise every issue regardless of its relevance to the application.

During our appearance again before you on September 21,2020 Misc. Application no 679 of 2020, seeking leave to appeal your ruling of September 7,2020, you gave room to the lawyers for the other side to raise every issue regardless of its relevance to the application. For instance, on the issue of interlocutory Judgement against Bank One you stated that, that judgement had been challenged and despite the fact that it was done out of time you allowed the other party to use it to discount our lawyers’ arguments on that issue.

5. To give Ruling on our appeal just a day before the intended sale of our properties.

You gave October 6,2020 as the day you would deliver your ruling on our Misc. Application no 679 of 2020, this was just one-day shy of the intended sale of our properties, giving us literary no time to appeal your decision. Even when requested to bring forward the date of your ruling, you refused! This is another instance of bias.Actually as we write our properties have been sold!

Those comments/actions and or body language lead us to conclude that you already hold biased views on these cases and that you therefore have already adjudged our cases and we do not expect a contrary judgement.

We therefore take it that your actions and the comments you have been making as a Judicial officer are biased, in appropriate and un acceptable. Hence our request that, in the interest of justice which must not only be done but must be seen to be done you should recuse yourself from hearing cases relating to us.

Sudhir reportedly bought Simbamanyo House on Lumumba Avenue in Kampala,
in a public auction put up by Equity Bank at Shs18.5Bn, which was seeking to recover an unpaid loan of $8.1 million from Simbamanyo Estates Limited.

In a letter dated October 8, by Sam Kirubi, the Managing Director, Equity Bank informed the tenants of Simbamanyo House of change of management. The letter stated in part thus;

“We are writing to inform you that Equity Bank Uganda Limited, as mortgagee, has completed the sale of the above-mentioned property, after a public auction concluded on October 8, 2020, to the evaluated bidder M/S Meera Investment Ltd.

All the tenants were put on notice of the said auction via an advert in the Daily Monitor Newspaper dated September 8, 2020.”

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